Headteacher Update

November 2020

As we enter another period of lockdown, the importance of community and support re-emerge as the two most important things that we should focus upon. We continue to work with students in school to consider the collective responsibility that we all share to keep one another safe and help them to understand why it is better for schools to remain open so that we can safeguard their futures.
The new restrictions have only had a slight impact on the school as we were already under Tier 2 restrictions. The wearing of face coverings in corridors is a legal requirement so I would ask that your child attends school with their own face covering every day. The only thing that we have had to do is temporarily suspend extra curricular activities for students, but this does not affect the support programmes currently running in Year 11.
As cases increase can I remind you that you must keep your child at home if they or anyone in your household has had a Covid test regardless of whether or not they are displaying symptoms. Your child can obviously return to school immediately if the test result is negative, but you should inform us of the result before sending your child back into school. Unfortunately we did have one more student test positive earlier in the week and thank you once again to those of you affected for your support. To date none of the affected students have displayed symptoms or tested positive as has been the case in all the previous cases. This is reassuring in that the steps we are taking in school as well as the steps we need to take when a positive test is confirmed do seem to be working, but we will not become complacent and safety remains paramount.
In more positive news, earlier this year the school was involved in the Breaking Chains exhibition at The Low Lights in North Shields. I am delighted to share with you that the exhibition was the regional winner of the prestigious Marsh Award for volunteering – the following YouTube clip explains a little bit about the exhibition and the involvement of John Spence students. Well done to all involved.
This is a great example of where our community comes together and in school we are continually looking at ways to develop that sense of community within our students. To this end, next week we will be launching our new Community Leaders programme and will be asking students to apply to become one of the following: Ambassadors, Influencers or Guardians. Each of these roles have specific responsibilities where the students will be able to make a real difference to their year group and the school as a whole. Look out for further details on Twitter and Facebook over the coming weeks.
Finally, please remember that we are here to support you, and if the current lockdown is causing you and your family what may feel like impossible challenges, please do get in touch and we will do all that we can to help.
Best wishes and stay safe
Jonathan